Flotsam And Jetsam
As of today, (5-20-2) I really do not have my usual overarching theme. Part of it is because I have been busy in matters I will not detail here and part of it is simply nothing that big has inspired me. But I do have a few smaller things that indicate where we are going (--something, something-“handbasket”) and some of the side trips along the way.
When you look at any huge organization, or disorganization, that routinely brings in and disburses money measured by multiple volumes (speaking of loads equivalent to the barrel holding 151 U.S. gallons known as a b**t”) there are certain minimum things we expect. Knowing that politicians of all parties are crooked, we know that a big chunk of the money we pay them goes into their own pockets, or the pockets of their friends and family. And that they will lie, cheat and steal to cover it up. There is no surprise there.
1) Both big businesses and political organizations are that way, as those all operate largely by connections and politics more than the concept of the law applied to all. Still, there are certain things we expect. In a government body under the Constitution, they are supposed to follow the laws passed and signed. Among those laws are standards of accounting for that money they take and spend.
The State of California, the Leftist paradise, taxes and spends huge amounts of money from those who live there and do business there. And of course, not all of it goes where it is supposed to. And that annoys those who are citizens, patriots and believers in the Constitution. A group called “Open the Books” has been filing suits in every state of the union to get them to detail their spending for their citizens. Forty-nine states have opened their books. The State of California, particularly California Controller Betty Yee, flat refuses to do what all the other states have done.
So, 21 months ago, Open the Books filed suit against Yee to get her to obey the state's Open Records Law and reveal who was paid what. The action was filed on Aug. 23, 2019, and was flat ignored until November of 2019. Which delay is also a specific violation of California's Open Records Law. And when she answered, it was to claim that the State of California was “unable to locate” any records of how the Controller's Office or any other State Agency had spent its money. It is known from other publications by her office that in 2018 that her office issued checks paying 49 million bills totaling $320 BILLION. She just renewed her claim that she has no way of telling what money California took in or disbursed, and so she does not have to tell the court, or the people of California about it.
When you are the government of the State of California, the law is for little people, and certainly does not apply to you. Which in a way brings us back to last week's piece. If a government does not obey the laws; financial, electoral or criminal . . . is it a legitimate government and what obedience is owed it?
2) A second item that is of note, I ran across a week or so ago. Now we know that since the current regime took over, the U.S.-Mexican border may as well not exist. Thousands of foreign invaders (I know, that is not politically correct. But they are foreign citizens and they are entering the country in violation of our laws and ignoring our national sovereignty. The phrase stands.) are pouring across the border and being given functional permanent residency and welfare in violation of our law.
We have Federal agencies that are supposed to control the flow of illegals. Prime among them Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They are not trying to stop the flow. They are gathering them into camps from which they are now being sent to cities around the country. Now the flood is not coming in convoys of modern internet-connected vehicles, but rather in groups coming across the desert. Which made a contract I heard about interesting.
Customs and Border Protection paid Swedish data extraction company MSAB “$456,073 for a bundle of hardware including five 'iVe vehicle forensics kits' manufactured by Berla, an American company.” for an eight month long test contract, just concluded. So what is a 'vehicle forensics kit?' Modern cars are a collection of rolling computers talking to other computers. They are collecting data on everywhere you go, by what route and where you stop, when. And if you have a smart phone plugged in or being used in the car, they are collecting data on everything your smart phone has on board or knows. Further, they can gather the same kind of data on any vehicles or smart phones you are in contact with.
Here is the link to the government summary of the purchase from the General Services Administration: https://beta.sam.gov/opp/28e69f99d22440418297dbb0820e86d3/view?sort=-modifiedDate&index=opps&is_active=1&page=1
The vehicle forensics kit is basically a covert vacuum sucking up any information that you, your vehicle and your smart phone have gathered. This is data that normally would require a judge to issue a warrant. But when the rule of law is gone, who needs warrants? But that is not all.
From MSAB's own marketing literature comes the claim that it promises police access to a vast array of sensitive personal information quietly stored in the infotainment consoles and various other computers used by modern vehicles - a tapestry of personal details akin to what someone could get when cracking into one's personal phone. MSAB claims that this data can include “Recent destinations, favorite locations, call logs, contact lists, SMS messages, emails, pictures, videos, social media feeds and the navigation history of everywhere the vehicle has been.” MSAB even touts the ability to retrieve deleted data, divine “future plans,” and “Identify known associates and establish communication patterns between them.”
Ben LeMere, is the founder of Berla who makes it. In a podcast, he said:
“We had a Ford Explorer … we pulled the system out, and we recovered 70 phones that had been connected to it. All of their call logs, their contacts and their SMS history, as well as their music preferences, songs that were on their device, and some of their Facebook and Twitter things as well. … And it's quite comical when you sit back and read some of the the text messages.”
As I said, Customs and Border Protection are not picking up illegals in later model vehicles. Whose data are they thinking of using something like this to collect? Maybe those who do not agree with the government, or who the government does not agree with?
3) Angelo Codavilla is one of the world's leading authorities on political systems and international relations. He is the author of at least 18 books on national and international politics, the most famous probably being “The Ruling Class: how they corrupted America and what we can do about it.” I admire him greatly and consider his citations of fact to be absolutely dependable.
I just encountered an article by Codavilla published today in “American Greatness.” We all know that the current regime is trying to arrest and indict those who took place in the protests at the Capitol on Jan. 6. They call those protests “armed insurrection” and equate it to treason. Leaving aside the concepts embodied in the First Amendment; both “Freedom of Speech” and “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances;” there is the fact that the act they are accused of factually is at worst misdemeanor trespass.
And the trespass is itself questionable as in the last week video was released showing Capitol Police inviting the protestors into the Capitol. It is hard to convict someone of trespass when the local police are inviting you inside.